For Argentina, clinching a spot in the 2014 World Cup seems likely. If Argentina wins or draws and Uruguay draws or loses, Lionel Messi and company will book their trip to Brazil.
A draw and Ecuador loss would also see Argentina through.
Currently atop South American qualifying, the Argentines have lost just one game in 13 total qualifiers (seven wins, five draws). While traveling to Paraguay won't be easy, it's hard to envision Argentina losing to a team currently one point ahead of last-place Bolivia.
For Paraguay, only a win and a Uruguay draw or loss can keep them alive for the fifth-place finish and the playoff that comes with it. It's a long shot, but it's something worth fighting for, at least.
When: Tuesday, September 10 at 9:40 p.m. ET (2:40 a.m. BST)
Where: Defensores del Chaco, Asuncion, Paraguay
Watch: beIN Sport en Espanol; beIN Sport Play
Argentina will be without Gonzalo Higuain, Javier Mascherano, Federico Fernandez and Ezequiel Garay for this match, though when you have stars like Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Erik Lamela, Angel Di Maria, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Rodrigo Palacio on the squad—and those are just the attackers!—depth isn't exactly an issue.
Paraguay is fresh off a 4-0 dismantling of Bolivia on Saturday, so that coupled with the home crowd at their backs should give them some confidence. Some. Argentina will be one of the favorites heading into Brazil next year, however, so it's hard to see Paraguay beating them, even at home.
The last time these teams played, Argentina won 3-1.
Argentina could have clinched a World Cup bid by the time this game begins depending on how the other CONMEBOL matches play out, so the result of this contest could be academic. Regardless, it's hard to see this Argentina team falling to Paraguay, even on the road.
Few teams in the world combine Argentina's attacking depth with a rugged, aggressive set of midfielders and defenders. You better believe this team—and all the clubs that have stars on Argentina—would be quite pleased to clinch a berth with two games remaining in qualifying.
For Paraguay, the World Cup dream ends on Saturday. Argentina wins, 2-1.
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